Starting point: I am confused.
It was almost a year ago when I attended two online courses of Regenerative Tourism offered by Turismo Regenerativo, based in Chile, owned by Carlos Briceño and Martín Araneda. It was the answer to my wondering mind and I was in heaven when learning together with like minded persons, most of them from Latin America.
I have been launching the ideas of regeneration since then. I also have organized a beautiful online event together with Carlos and Martín and was a partner to organize a great webinar with Anna Pollock and Anna Drozdowska as key speakers.
I have had an opportunity to introduce presentation about regenerative tourism to the representatives of the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Visit Finland organization. I also have been invited to several webinars in Finland and I was a speaker at the international Responsible Tourism Congress in Helsinki. I have been adding introduction of Regenerative Tourism to my training contents. I have attended two more training sessions (RegenLab and Context mapping) to learn more with others.
And now – why am I so confused?
I have the feeling that I have not done enough and I have not been understood. I’ve also come across headlines and content from regenerative tourism that don’t match what I’ve learned and it’s been frustrating.
I have started to produce an online course about regenerative tourism in Finnish but I am not sure that I can get any paid attendees to it, neither have I received funding for development projects even I have been trying to get some.
I don´t normally get stuck or hesitate, neither I use to hand over. I won´t this time either. It´s about a process and time is needed for all of us to move on to the next level.
Next step: Understanding and reflecting
I have spent money on development, and now as a solo entrepreneur I am worried whether I will be able to do any useful business out of it. At the same time, I know in my heart that the path I have chosen is the right one.
And then, right at this moment of greatest doubt, I opened the computer and in front of me came Anna Pollock’s article ”Breaking my silence”. She started the article by explaining why she has not been writing a lot lately: ”I haven’t been writing because, as a person whose trade requires that she better understand the context in which tourism operates, I couldn’t ignore the ever-widening gap between what we talk about within our sector, and what’s happening around us.”
I totally agree. This is why I am confused. I am also confused of so much talking and so little acting. I also have been running through words and their meanings in my mind as there are some trendy words in Finnish Tourism sector such as ”leading with management”, ”digitalization” and ”sustainability”.
Regenerative Tourism is not among them and actually I prefer it won´t be just an empty word but a meaning and a way of thinking.
Next one to come. Knowledge based management combined by management by heart
Knowledge based management means decision-making based on the right information, where the right information is obtained by analyzing data. It refers to decision-making based on up-to-date and high-quality information. The information used in decision-making has been collected in the past and can be used in procedures aiming at rational decision-making.
I am not against knowledge based management but I prefer to combine it with management by heart. As I have been working in responsible tourism for many years I think the work done can be used as basis of transformation and regeneration.
When tackling the problems caused by overusing the nature resources and by causing greenhouse emissions, the data can be used to make us understand cause and effect relationships and act as needed. Following the indicators can motivate us on our way to act in more regenerative way, specially when re-designing destinations. Publishing data in understandable way is crucial as figures without everyday references do not help.
With the definition of ”management by heart” I here lead your thoughts to regeneration as I have learnt it (some articles can be found in my blog Regeneration). It´s about learning to define the sense of place, it´s about honest willingness to respect the nature, be part of it and learn from it. It´s about learning together, crossing the boarders, changing the mindset and not turning the back on the most difficult problems.
We need to face the reality and be part of transformation. We cannot be bystanders and wait for someone else to solve the problems. The both ways of management are needed and we should make room for different thinking and trust the power of positive dialogue.
The happy end
By writing this text and after reading Anna Pollock´s article I have achieved peace and my thoughts have become clear. I keep on following my path and the next step to come will be finishing the online course. No matter if I won´t get paying customers as I can use the materials also for other purposes and opportunities are sure to come.
The fact that I have learned from others and together with others and then produced content according to my own values for different media, has been useful. I also have learnt to use new tools such as flow map, context map and Ikigai to re-design my own company´s way of doing and would love to share such experiences with others.
To finish I want to thank you for following my blog ❤
The online courses (in couple of weeks also the one of Regenerative Tourism in Finnish) can be found here: Mood of Learning
ps. There are some practical examples of regeneration, such as Shepherd Holiday in Finnish Lapland and Love Forest Finland – concept.